September 22, 2013
George Takei Leads World's Largest Chicken Dance At Ohio Festival [Video]

Actor George Takei led what was supposedly the world's largest chicken dance yesterday in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.

Takei showed off his dancing skills in his capacity as grand marshal of the city's annual Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati festival.

Takei, a.k.a. Mr. Sulu from the original Star Trek TV series, called the experience at Fountain Square "galactic."

As we previously reported, business leaders picked Takei because he is a cultural phenomenon. Said one official with the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber official, "[Takei is] a true celebrity. He's going to be fun and add a new level of excitement... to the event." Some previous lords of the chicken dance have included the Monkees' Davy Jones, rocker Eddie Money, Reds Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, Verne "Mini-Me Troyer, and former Bengals player Chad Johnson.

According to Cincinnati's NBC affiliate, Takei was surprised by the invite: "I knew nothing about the chicken dance. In fact, they didn't even tell me about the chicken dance when they asked me to be grand marshal of the Oktoberfest. What I did ask them was, 'isn't Oktoberfest a German festival?' I'm an Angelino from Los Angeles of Japanese-American heritage and they said 'Well, we love you and we want you' and I said 'alright, for love I'll do it' and then they told me that one of the important duties of the grand marshal is to lead all of Cincinnati in the chicken dance. I had no idea what that was."

Takei also narrated a Star Trek-themed musical performance by the Cincinnati Symphony.

The festival is scheduled to end today with among other things a bratwurst-eating championship featuring last year's champ Joey Chestnut on hand to defend his crown.

Takei, 76, earlier this month launched his own YouTube channel called "Takei's Take."

What do you think of George Takei's smooth moves in the chicken dance?

[thumbnail image by Gage Skidmore]